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|- Dog Bites
|- Drowning/Submersion Injuries
|- Motor Vehicle Crashes
|- Traumatic Brain/Spinal Cord Injury
|- Violent Injury
Injuries can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or economic status. More Delawareans die from unintentional injuries such as motor vehicle crashes and falls in the first four decades of life than from any other cause. Injuries have physical, emotional, and financial consequences that impact lives of individuals, their families, their communities, and society. The financial burden of injury-related lifelong disability has extensive and wide-ranging effects. All this, despite the fact that many injuries and acts of violence are preventable.
"Injury is probably the most under recognized major public health problem facing the nation today, and the study of injury represents unparalleled opportunities for reducing morbidity and mortality and for realizing significant savings in both financial and human terms-all in return for a relatively modest investment." (Injury Prevention: Meeting the Challenge, The National Committee for Injury Prevention and Control. New York: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1989, p.1)
"If a disease were killing our children at the rate unintentional injuries are, the public would be outraged and demand that this killer be stopped."
- Dr. C. Everett Koop
Throughout the lifespan and wherever they live, Americans are at risk for disability or death due to injury. No age or location is truly "safe" when it comes to injury and violence. But injuries have associated risk factors which can be predicted and modified. Therefore, injuries must not be viewed as random accidents, but as preventable occurrences in need of organized efforts to save lives . Development of these prevention efforts is the goal of Delaware's Coalition for Injury Prevention.
Coalition for Injury Prevention Vision - A safe, injury-free Delaware.
Coalition for Injury Prevention Mission - The Delaware Coalition for Injury Prevention is committed to providing leadership to reduce injury-related morbidity and mortality through statewide injury prevention initiatives. These initiatives include influencing policy, increasing capacity through community partnerships, and evaluating outcomes. The Coalition will build capacity through education, advocacy, research, and epidemiologic analyses as means to decrease both intentional and unintentional injury.
Under the auspices of the Office of Emergency Medical Services and its Trauma System Development Project, the concept of the injury prevention program was introduced in 2000 with a vision that Delaware's culturally diverse population would be empowered to reduce their risks for injuries by making safe choices. In 2004, the Coalition started meeting on a quarterly basis.
The first and most obvious challenge to injury prevention efforts is to be successful - to get the message to the public, especially under-represented groups, in such a way that injuries and injury-related deaths actually decrease. With the assistance of one of the Coalition's strongest supporters, the Delaware Office of Primary Care and Rural Health, the Delaware Coalition for Injury Prevention began and continues to develop and support public education injury prevention programs. Through these efforts, the Coalition's goal of safe communities throughout Delaware will be realized, as measured by fewer injuries, fewer risk-taking behaviors, safer environments, and reduced incidence of injury-related disabilities. Approximately 40 agencies from all areas of the state are currently Coalition members. Through effective surveillance, partnerships, interventions, training, and evaluation the Coalition's individual members and their agencies strive to teach all Delawareans that injuries are preventable.
Injury prevention is vital work. Prevention has been proven to save lives and healthcare dollars. Delaware's funding for this pressing health concern is 10 times lower than the average funding throughout the states (America's Emergency Care Environment, A State-By-State Report Card – 2014). To help overcome that challenge, the Coalition facilitates networking among agencies interested in working on the same project or with the same populations. Networking decreases costly duplication of effort and stretches scarce resources due to limited funding. The Coalition operates on the good will of member agencies and their representatives plus their passion to develop programs that will mitigate the prevalence and incidence of injuries in Delaware.
Teams have been established within the Coalition to address common preventable injuries. Each team provides educational outreach to the public. Click on any of the links below for more information on that topic.
Funding for these projects gratefully received from the Delaware Office of Rural Health grant.
This was a collaboration of the Prevention of Falls, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Violence Teams. A Coalition for Injury Prevention member observed that in the City of Wilmington, many children were riding bicycles, mini-bikes, and electric scooters without any protective headgear. Coalition teams were able to partner with the Wilmington Police Department for a safety event and a bike helmet giveaway to address this problem. The event took place in Wilmington’s East Side community, which is at high risk for many types of injuries, including those from violence. By networking with local law enforcement, an opportunity to interact with the area’s youth in a non-threatening way was created. Over 200 individuals attended this successful event, and children and youth were fitted for free bicycle helmets.
The Coalition supported programs presented to elementary school students across the state by the First State Force Band, whose members are from Delaware law enforcement, Department of Corrections, Fire Marshal's Office, and Victim Services. The band uses music to convey important messages to elementary school children. Through musical messages, children are urged to: "Say No to Drugs", "Stand Up Against Bullying and Violence", and "Respect Your Parents, Teachers, Others and Yourselves". Performances were presented at elementary schools in all three counties.
The band performed at Gallagher Elementary in Newark, Booker T. Washington Elementary in Dover (pictured above), Rehoboth Elementary in Rehoboth, Shortlidge Academy in Wilmington, William Henry Middle School in Dover, MOT Charter School in Middletown, Forwood Elementary in Wilmington, and Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary in Camden.
The Stewards of Children Initiative is a multi-agency collaboration that aims to train 35,000 Delawareans by 2015 to have the tools and knowledge needed to keep children safe from sexual abuse. The program teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Thanks to the funding received from the Delaware Office of Primary Care and Rural Health and the Coalition for Injury Prevention, 222 workbooks were purchased and distributed to adults enrolled in Stewards of Children workshops.
Key Objective: Decrease the number of brain injuries suffered by Delaware citizens and improve the quality of life for those who have suffered these injuries to prevent further injuries.
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury that affects how the brain works. It may be caused by a:
There are three main types of TBI:
Always see your doctor if you or your child has received a blow to the head or body that concerns you or causes behavioral changes. Seek emergency medical care if there are any signs or symptoms of traumatic brain injury following a recent blow or other traumatic injury to the head. The terms "mild," "moderate" and "severe" are used to describe the effect of the injury on brain function. A mild injury to the brain is still a serious injury that requires prompt attention and an accurate diagnosis.
The signs and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may include
Cognitive, Behavioral, Mental Symptoms
Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can include any of the signs and symptoms of mild injury, as well as these symptoms that may appear within the first hours to days after a head injury:
Cognitive or Mental Symptoms
Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
Infants and young children with brain injuries might not be able to communicate headaches, sensory problems, confusion, and similar symptoms. In a child with traumatic brain injury, you may observe:
Wear a seat belt every time you drive – or ride – in a motor vehicle.
Talk to your doctor to evaluate your risk for falling and talk with them about specific things you can do to reduce your risk for a fall.
Patients experiencing TBI or concussion danger signs should seek care right away at an emergency department. (Symptoms of Mild TBI and Concussion | Concussion | Traumatic Brain Injury | CDC Injury Center
Pedestrian Safety is the focus for 2013 of the Motor Vehicle-Related Injury Prevention Team.
Rural Health Funds were utilized to purchase 16 mannequins (8 male and 8 female). Each of the 8 Delaware Trauma System hospitals were given 2 mannequins along with tee shirts. The tee shirts have the message "Be Safe. Be Seen." on the front and "Walk Safely and Don't Become a Pedestrian Injury Statistic" on the back of the tee. These will be used at events, in hospital lobbies or local businesses to bring more attention to pedestrian safety. Pedestrian Safety events were held during the summer which included the mannequins and informational tables provided by the Coalition to address the pedestrian injuries and deaths up and down the state. Photos shows St Francis Hospital's campaign for St. Patrick's Day. Other photos can be found on the Motor Vehicle Injury Team page.
Key Objective: Discuss Best Practices in Fall Prevention for Delawareans Across the Age Span
What is a Fall and Why is Fall Prevention important?
Use the STEADI program to help identify and understand your risks for a potential fall: https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/patient.html
ChristianaCare: Safe Steps – ChristianaCare
Volunteer Delaware 50+ A Matter of Balance Programs: https://volunteer.delaware.gov/matter-of-balance
SWIMMING LESSONS, Summer 2013
The Drowning and Submersion Injury Prevention Team, in collaboration with the Sussex Family YMCA and with funding from the Delaware Office of Rural Health, was able to provide swimming lessons to 81 children. The goal of this program was to provide structured teaching time to enhance current swimming skills based on the established and successful guidelines of the YMCA of the USA Swim Lesson Program. An added benefit of the swim lessons for these children were the opportunities to build their confidence through the improvement of their swimming skills.
In addition, the Team partnered with the Milford Parks and Recreation Department to provide swimming lessons to beginner and toddler swimmers.
"MEET THE BREEDS" DOG BITE INJURY PREVENTION EVENT, Summer 2013
This event was held at the Delaware State Fair to acquaint the public with dog breeds and safety issues pertaining to dogs. This year the joint venture combining the resources of multiple purebred dog groups and rescue groups, the Mispillion Kennel Club, and the Coalition's Dog Bite Injury Prevention Team was able to present demonstrations on obedience, Canine Good Citizen and appropriate behaviors around dogs. Attendance to the 3-hour event was approximately 500 persons.
Are you interested in volunteering to help educate the public on ways they can prevent injuries to themselves and their families? Would you and/or your agency like to become Coalition for Injury Prevention members?
If so, we would love to have your help! Just print, complete, and fax or email the New Member Form
For questions, feel free to contact the Injury Prevention Program in the Delaware Office of Emergency Medical Services at (302) 223-1350.
And a very special thank you to the Delaware State Office of Rural Health for Financial Support.
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